01 March 2012
The Pathfinder Character Decision
Thanks to all the people that commented on the post wherein I asked about what I should do with Culver, my Pathfinder bard. Most people said "go rogue" (heh), but I ignored them all and stayed with bard. This decision was made largely due to some advice given via Google + and my find of a "guide to bards in Pathfinder" netbook via the Paizo forums. I did go back and retool him with some different skill, feat, and spell choices.
The netbook was especially helpful for two reasons. First, it helped me better understand some of the bard class abilities, when they could be used, and how to get the most out of them (yes, optimization). For example, I did not realize the Well-Versed class ability let me use my Perform (oratory) skill in place of diplomacy and sense motive. Thus, there's no point in putting ranks in those skills. With a better understanding of what he could do, I was able to go back and reskill and re-feat him. I feel a lot better about how and when he is able to contribute, even though there is now some overlap between this bard and the party paladin, skill wise.
Second, the netbook gave three different ways in which the bard could be configured to be useful in combat. I hate the term "builds," but that's exactly what these are. Given Culver's poor strength, the one that made the most sense was a missile-weapon sort of bard. I really didn't have to change much about the character to make that focus happen; I just made sure I ended up with the bunch of magical arrows we found in the previous adventure :)
Armed with this advice and resource, I went back and rebuilt Culver from level one. I was careful to make sure he could still do all the things he had done in his past advenures, but did make some changes. I feel much better about him in terms of his mechanics and how he ought to contribute to the party. His personality is still emerging, but last weeks session could likely have have a signficant imact on Culver, who he is, and his place in the campaign.